Chapter One: Name

Right now, I'll tell every one of you people who have me on the "Author Alert" list: THIS IS A KATAANG! Yep, you heard me right! It's a Kataang- Katara/Aang for those of you who've been living under a rock. No, for the last time, this isn't a Zutara!

Okay, now that I've got that out of the way:

Disclaimer: I don't own "Avatar: The Last Airbender". You can sue me, but all you'll get is a stupid bird that will give you a heart attack from it's screaming.

All I could feel was the fire around me. It was too hot, too intense. I couldn't see as my vision was clouded by smoke. I coughed and spluttered to get it out of my lungs.

A hand grabbed me. I saw a flash of blue, then a ponytail. It was Sokka. I tried to call out his name, to ask where mom and dad were, but no sound came out. He pulled me along the snow-covered road, all the way down to main tent. I marveled at the way he walked, with so much power. He was only nine- just a year older than me.

Then I realized that his hand was shaking. He was scared just like me. In the front, I saw dad. He was leading a pack of men. The smoke was clearing here and I could see many people getting into fighting stances. Mothers hurried their children into tents while fathers and other men took out their weapons or a whip of water.

"W-w-what's going on?" I managed to choke out. The air was much better here. Sokka shook his head.

"I don't know, but we have to get out."

Katara stared down at her table. All wood, all brown. At her wooden bowl, the green piece of cloth, the leafy colored chopsticks. That was it. All green and brown. Sure, Katara loved the earth, but, really, to have it cover every square inch of your surroundings?

Sighing, she pushed her chair away. She missed her artic home. The cool wind, the penguin riding days, the water. Everything about the South Pole made her want to go home again. But ever since the Fire Nation had attacked, her family had been forced to move to the Earth Kingdom. Right now, they were staying with her cousin. No, there was no way they were related. The families were exact opposites.

They were messy and disorganized. Besides her brother, Sokka, neatness ran in the family. They were lazy. Sure, Sokka had his lazy moments, but he was also very determined. They gave up too easily. For the Kingdom that was fighting the ruthless Fire Nation, they seemed very boring. Luckily, her cousin's mom and dad were gone on to another town to trade the hog monkey bones for some of the town's crops. They would be back in a few days.

"Orko, pass the leechi nuts please," asked Sokka. Katara knew how much effort it took Sokka to say that. He hated the teenager just as much, or even more than Katara. The arrogant teenager, Orko, lazily reached over and pushed the bowl towards her brother.

Katara had been shocked when she realized who her cousin was. Lazy, stubborn and just a plain jerk. Sure, Katara had thought that they could have gotten along, but that was a month ago. Right now, she was determined to rid herself of this creep.

"Katara, you haven't touched your plate yet this evening," said her dad. Katara shook her head.

"I guess I'm just not hungry," replied Katara, getting ready to get up. Her dad smiled.

"Well, I've got a surprise for you! Guess what it is." When Katara didn't answer, he said, "You know how this house is starting to get more and more messy. Since none of you want to clean it, I've gotten a slave for us."

If Katara had had food in her mouth, she would have choked to death. A slave? You mean those people who are captured, shipped from their homes, and forced to work for no pay? That was horrible! Katara could never picture herself hiring her slave. She had never pictured her own family cold-hearted enough to do that either.

"That's great! Now we can finally have a decent meal, cause Katara can't cook for her life!" answered Orko, laughing. Katara sent him a death-glare, but before she could come up with a taunt of her own, Sokka butted in.

"Are you sure about this dad? I've heard that slaves could run away. Their not very reliable," said Sokka, swallowing a handful of the nuts. Ever since the attack on their tribe, Sokka had been more and more paranoid. Even though he acted like a normal teenager- lazy, self-centered, he was much more than that. And even though he bossed her around, Katara knew he meant the best for the whole family.

"Where could they run away? There are miles of forest on each side," replied her dad. This was true. For some reason, Orko's family had decided to live in the middle of a dense forest. To hide from the Fire Nation, he had told her.

"That's right," responded Orko. For a while, no one said anything. Katara's dad looked at her.

"Well, what do you think Katara? Doesn't seem like a fine idea?" asked her dad. She wanted to tell him that, no, it was terrible. So many people are hurt like that. But the look on her dad's face was so hopeful, she could only smile weakly.

There was a knock on the door. Her father walked over to open it. Katara followed and saw a strange man dressed in all black. There was nothing unusual about him, just that he seemed a bit mysterious, and very paranoid. Whatever the reason, Katara didn't know and didn't care about.

"Sir, I'm here with the slave." The person reached behind him, and pushed forward a small boy.

Katara's eyes rested on him, and she felt a strange pity. He couldn't be more than her age, probably younger. He looked so innocent, and yet his eyes… They were a stormy gray and reflected pain and suffering. Katara wondered how much the boy had been through in his short lifetime.

Her father frowned. "I though I asked for a girl. I need someone to cook and clean the house. All a boy can do is work on the farm. As you can see, we don't exactly have a farm."

The person hurried to correct his mistake, "Well, he can do many things. And he's at a good age, around 13. Not too young and not too old."

Her father sighed. "Very well. What's your name?"

The boy didn't respond to her father. He didn't even look up or anything. He just stared into nothingness. After a while, his lips parted, but no sound came out.

"Speak up. What's your name?" her father asked again. The boy didn't make a sound even though the person in black smacked him roughly on the head.

"This is your new master. You obey him!" the person yelled.

"He's probably a mute," Katara said quickly, hoping the person wouldn't hurt the boy again. He was so young. Katara's dad nodded and reached for a piece of parchment and a brush. He dipped it in some ink and handed it over to the boy.

The stranger looked down, but again, didn't respond. Her father's patience was going to run out soon. Katara questioned where the boy came from. He probably originated in some foreign land where they had no scrolls or anything that she was used to. Judging from his strange clothing, she could tell that he came from a long way.

Finally, the boy took the paper hesitantly. Slowly, he wrote out the word. After a while, he handed it back to Katara's dad. In neat, flowing letters, the boy had written his name:


I'm new to Kataang, so anyone's who's read this, please tell me how I did. And if you Zutara lovers want to flame this, please don't. I know you want me to get my Zutaras updated, but just wait! If you want to compliment, go ahead. I'd love that so much! And I just wanna tell you, I've held back on creating this story for 3 months now. I really wanted to get BD finished. Yup, that's how much I love you guys.

As you can tell, I'm writing about the darker side of Aang. Sorry, but there won't be any fun-loving, animal-riding, getting-into-trouble Aang in this story. No, I don't see Aang as just a kid, but someone with a very deep past that needs to be explore more. So that's how my story's going.

Has anyone noticed a similarity between Orko and Jet? Ha! Yea, Orko was based on Jet. I was originally going to make it Jet, but I just couldn't stand that idea! It's like… UGH!